Graduate Student Profiles

Josh Smejkal

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MS in Bioengineering ’20
Villa Park, IL

Academic focus: MRI imaging applications

How will we benefit from your research? My research is going to contribute to physicians’ abilities to diagnose lung conditions through MRI lung imaging. This type of advancement in technology could make current damaging imaging methods, such as x-ray, obsolete.

Most rewarding aspect of your study at UIC: The most rewarding part of my research is working with a diverse set of engineering disciplines. Every discipline within the college has been integral to my research.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus: I am most likely to be found working hard in the bioengineering research labs and in the Engineering Makerspace working on prototypes.

Chiara Di Vece

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MS in Bioengineering ’19
Italy

What are the advantages of studying abroad at UIC? You are allowed to approach things from a more practical point of view; maybe this is the greatest difference with respect to Italy.

Research project: I’m working on the development of a novel virtual/augmented reality and haptic simulator to improve learning of psychomotor skills required for urological surgery.

Why UIC Bioengineering? I have the possibility to work in close contact with urologists. Their collaboration is essential for the development of the most accurate simulator.

Impact of your research: I hope the simulator will allow practice in a safe environment with no risk of injury to patients. This could be useful above all for novice trainees who could have the possibility to learn, with adequate instruments, critical steps of a particular surgical procedure.

Xue Lei

student Xue Lei

MS in Bioinformatics ’19
China

Academic focus: Cancer variant/dynamic system/chromatin conformation in immunology

Why engineering, and why UIC? I wanted to transfer from basic science, such as physics, to an applied subject. The researchers here have a great passion for what they do!

What has been the most rewarding part of doing research here?
The friendly faculty. All the principal investigators I get in touch with have given me great help.

How do you get around?
Walk

Vignesh Natarajan

student Vignesh Natarajan

MS in Bioengineering ’20
India

Academic focus: Optics in bioengineering

Why UIC? As a bioengineer, I consider it paramount that the College of Engineering and College of Medicine are joined seamlessly. UIC has done an excellent job in making sure that the two colleges are working together, offering a healthy mix of subjects from both. Also, UIC was one of the few universities that had labs dedicated to optics in the bioengineering department.

What do you find rewarding about your research? The satisfaction of pursuing the challenges in my very specific field of interest and knowing that I’m a part of a team helping people battle blindness and other retinal diseases and improving their quality of life.

One thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: The multicultural atmosphere around the campus makes me feel like it’s a home away from home.

How you get around: Bike

Giulia Crocioni

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MS in Bioengineering ’19
Italy

Academic focus: Neural engineering

How do you hope your research will create positive change in the world? I hope it will help physicians in detecting diseases.

Favorite place in Chicago: Millennium Park

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus: The library, because it is very comfortable to study.

Oxsana Persidina

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MS in Bioengineering ’20
Russia

Why UIC? The affordability, location, and good research opportunities. I think UIC has a lot of diversity, and friendly staff.

Coursework option or thesis option: Thesis option

Where you’re most likely to be found on campus: The lounge in the bioengineering department

Favorite place in Chicago: Museum campus